Conservatively Speaking

State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.

"I am being taxed to death. Where in the world does it stop?"


David Vogt of Milwaukee made that comment to Steve Walters of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel seven months ago. Vogt was expressing his frustration about an extension of the state sales tax  to digital downloads that goes into effect today, October 1, 2009. 

The Wisconsin Department of Revenue (Page 16) reports:

“Effective October 1, 2009, state, county, and stadium sales taxes and the premier resort area tax are imposed on the sale, lease, license, or rental of specified digital goods and additional digital goods at retail.

Effective October 1, 2009, state, county, and stadium use taxes are imposed on the storage, use, or other consumption of specified digital goods and additional digital goods purchased from any retailer, if the purchaser has the right to use the specified digital goods or additional digital goods on a permanent or less than permanent basis and regardless of whether the purchaser is required to make continued payments for such right.

‘Specified digital goods’ means digital audio works, digital audiovisual works, and digital books.

‘Additional digital goods’ means all of the following, if they are transferred electronically: greeting cards;  finished artwork;  periodicals; and video or electronic games.

‘Digital audio works’ means works that result from the fixation of a series of musical, spoken, or other sounds that are transferred electronically, including prerecorded or live music, prerecorded or live readings of books or other written materials, prerecorded or live speeches, ringtones, or other sound recordings but not including audio greeting cards sent by electronic mail.

‘Digital audiovisual works’ means a series of related images that, when shown in succession, impart an impression of motion, along with accompanying sounds, if any, and that are transferred electronically.

‘Digital audiovisual works’ includes motion pictures, musical videos, news and entertainment programs, and live events, but does not include video greeting cards or video or electronic games.

‘Digital book’ means works that are generally recognized in the ordinary and usual sense as books and are transferred electronically. ‘Digital books’ includes any literary work, other than a digital audio work or digital audiovisual work, that is expressed in words, numbers, or other verbal or numerical symbols or indicia, if the literary work is generally recognized in the ordinary and usual sense as a book, work of fiction or nonfiction, or a short story, but does not include newspapers or other news or information products, periodicals, chat room discussions, or blogs.”

In other words, from now on, think before you click.

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